Monday, June 2, 2014

Celebrations continue

I would like to thank all those who helped make the Wadworth Gala at the start of May a great success. For those of you who missed the display about the War Memorial in Wadworth, it will be on further display at the Church Garden Party on the 28th June, starting at 2pm. Our commemorations of the start of World War 1 will continue with a candle light service on 27th July at Loversall, followed by light refreshments in the WI hut.

Another commemoration this year is the 100th anniversary of the Diocese of Sheffield. Local Churches in West Doncaster are gathering to celebrate at St Mary’s Tickhill on the 22nd June at 4pm-6pm with a service followed by a hog roast. Please join us.

The Bible readings during Lent aligned to focus on the women followers of Jesus. First the Samaritan Woman at the well -she recognises Jesus as Messiah. Martha at Bethany declares Jesus to be the Messiah just before Jesus bring Lazarus back to life. The Mary at the garden tomb is the first to recognise the risen Jesus. All this while apart from Peter the male disciples are floundering in their understanding of Jesus. This leap of understanding of Jesus the Prophet to Jesus the Messiah is one we all have to make in our faith journey.

I was privileged at the start of May to represent local churches in West Doncaster at a service to celebrate 20 years since women first became priests in the Church of England. This emotional charged day started as we met in the Dean’s yard at Westminster Abbey and following some speeches which recalled the events of 20years ago, set off walking to St Paul’s cathedral. Some of you may have seen yours truly on the TV bulletins. 

I was extremely touched, by the immense passion some very old women expressed, as they fought to complete every inch of this walk of witness. Some relayed their life long battle to have their calling as priest recognised and  also recalled fellow comrades who were now dead and not present to celebrate. I could not help but to think of Christ carrying his Cross as I watched the effort laden walk of passion of these women. 

Once seated in St Paul’s, we saw  the women who were first ordained twenty years ago  enter as a sea of white robes. The heavenly picture in Revelations of “white robed martyrs” came to mind. 

The passion to be a priest expressed by the women transcends a desire of equality with men to a desire to answer a call of God on their lives. It mattered more to be a priest than to be what previously only men could be. This says much about human need to answer the call of God - equality is secondary. 

The Church of England has a bright future if we can ALL show the passion these women showed to follow the call of God on our lives wherever that may lead us.